Fighting Through Grief While Moving Forward
Overachieving is my jam. Go big or go home. I strive to be the best at whatever it is I do.
Currently, I am achieving greatness in my ability to fall. Three falls in three weeks is a new record.
The first one happened in the kitchen. Upon feeling myself keel, I grabbed the stovetop. Realizing I was too far gone, I prepared to hit the ground, but my wedding ring had other plans. It caught on the scant edge of the flat surface. No match for my body weight, the diamond flew from the basket, stretching the platinum band.
I hit the ground, my cheeks hot and burning with fresh tears of frustration.
As I began to rise, a prism of light caught my eye. It was my diamond. I stood and found my center of gravity before walking toward the light.
A fall generally invites unsolicited advice. How can I better manage my MS? Walk at a slower pace and pay attention to my surroundings. If only it were so simple. For this reason, I keep 95% of my falls to myself. Yet even I am beginning to question if my disease is progressing.
On my way to take my dog Abby to the vet, I lost my balance. While getting into the car, I fell into the open door, gashing my shin on the corner. I winced as the pain ricocheted from nerve to nerve. I held on to the steering wheel and lowered my head. I felt the warm trickle of blood fall to my foot. Late for our appointment, I ignored the pain and drove. Only after exiting the car did I see my blood-soaked sandal.
Crimson water cascaded over my sandal as I ran it under the faucet. Clean and new — a baptism. I yearned for the same. For a moment, I wondered if it were possible. And then that moment was gone. I am accustomed to transience. I live within the push-pull of progression, day in and day out. No two days are the same.
Yet some things are. I had my worst fall on a recent Saturday. I decided to vacuum as Abby was with the dog walkers. Vacuuming takes more effort than I care to admit, and while I have help, I still try to maintain a clean home in between. Upon their return, I made a rapid move to make it to the garage door.
In doing this, I tripped over the vacuum hose, flew across the hallway (where they saw me), and crashed into the hard travertine floor. The kids did not witness the impact, but the sound made it evident.
As pain seared through my body, I managed to claw my way up the cabinets to the counter. With a deep breath and all of the false bravado I could muster, I thanked the boys. Out of sight, they asked if I was OK. I feigned cheer and replied that I was.
It was after I knew the doors were closed that I let go. I sank to the floor and met the enormity of my grief with sobs.
That was seven days, 23 hours, and two minutes ago. The mammoth release of so many emotions has sobered my soul. It lends credibility to how much I fight to keep moving forward. Yet whether I brush away gently or push past, passing by emotions only saves them for later.
I think my new goal will be how to move forward without falling down.
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